Saturday, June 18, 2016

If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 19

This is part of an ongoing series of posts that begins with If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro and is linked in succession back to here. If you haven't already I recommend you read them all as they outline my platform for becoming the next Mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina.

At Mental Floss they have a map showing the minimum income necessary to live in each state. North Carolina is said to be $50,000.  A better indicator might be this 2016 Living Wage Indicator from the folks at MIT.

Those truck driving,warehousing, transportation, distribution and logistics jobs the Greensboro City Council has been investing your tax dollars in for decades? According to MIT they average $27,740. Food preparation and serving, $18,650. Sales and related (Retail) $24,660 . These are the jobs your tax dollars have been going to pay incentives, forgivable loans and free grants for.

But they made Roy Carroll a billionaire. By tying incentives to what they pay their employees we would greatly reduce the numbers of companies asking for incentives and bring us only the cream of the crop.

I kid you not.

If I were Mayor of Greensboro I would tie incentive amounts not only to the number of jobs they bring but the number of dollars they pay above the average annual salary of a Greensboro worker. After all, if you're going to pay top dollar then why not hold out for a quality product?

Now here is something I found that is rather interesting. While media reports indicate that Mayor Vaughan's salary is now roughly $24,000 a year, the website Salary Genius is reporting our mayor earns $69,828 per year:

"The average yearly salary for Mayor in Greensboro, North Carolina is $69,628. If you are just beginning to work a new job as a Mayor in Greensboro, North Carolina, you could earn a starting pay rate of $57,341 annually. As is true for most jobs and careers, you can expect your hourly pay rate or salary to increase as you gain experience and the longer you are employed with the same employer. In Greensboro you could potentially make an average income of around $81,916 after several years on the job with increased wages. When pursuing your career of choice, you should compare salaries of similar professions and factor in variables such as health benefits and potential for raises and promotions over time."

Yes, I question the accuracy of their figures as well but perhaps Salary Genius has figured out a way to include hidden perks like:

Or not, who knows?

If I were elected Mayor of Greensboro we would have a very thorough 3rd party investigation into where and how our tax dollars are spent. And I really don't care who gets burned.

I've talked about transparency before in this series but in the interest of making things even more transparent, if elected Mayor of Greensboro I will move the Mayor's office to a more public part of the Melvin Municipal Building where anyone can see who I'm meeting with. I'm thinking in that area where all the plants are as I like plants. A table, a few chairs a lamp and an electrical outlet should take care of everything I need as cell phones and laptops are wireless and portable.  No more meetings behind closed doors or late nights in the corner booths in the backs of bars.

Yes, the book was photoshopped into the picture by whom I don't know, but it seems as if Zack and Nancy could have authored it themselves. The job of our mayor is to promote our entire city, not promote our local bars, restaurants and brew pubs. Natty Greens is a great establishment but when a mayor becomes known for frequenting such establishments it allows access that not just everyone can afford.

Speaking of cellphones and laptops... As Mayor of Greensboro I will use only my City issued cell phone and only my city issued e-mail address for everything I do. Thereby making my public records more easily accessible to Greensboro's IT department. No one submitting a public information request for my records will ever wait on me as IT will always have it all.

Another thing that deeply concerns me is this snippet taken from the City of Greensboro website:

Now I understand State law but why not answer written questions?

Are they perhaps scared that some blogger or journalist might catch them outright in a lie? When former City Councilwoman Goldie Wells wanted to discuss an important issue with me via telephone I insisted we use e-mail. Ms Wells, despite having first contacted me via e-mail to give me her telephone number, never discussed her issue with me-- why?

Because putting things in writing holds people accountable. People who don't want to be held accountable don't want to put things in writing. As you can see above the City of Greensboro doesn't want to put things in writing. The City of Greensboro doesn't want to be held accountable.

And as long as no one is held accountable nothing ever changes for the better.

When I am elected Mayor of Greensboro the City will be held accountable and questions will be answered in writing. Period, end of sentence.

Come back next time for If I Were Mayor Of Greensboro: Part 20